Writing from the Heart - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Writing from the Heart

Posted on September 30, 2017

by Dr. Edna Hussey on September 30, 2017

Every chance we get, the faculty and I look for opportunities to deepen our learning. Consulting directly with the teachers is often the best learning experience. Georgia Heard, writer and teacher of writing for nearly 20 years, was one of the founding members and staff developers of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. This past Friday, Georgia taught demonstration lessons on helping young writers with revision, writing effective beginnings and endings, and focusing on the "heart" of the writing. Georgia was quite impressed by our students' eagerness to write and how quickly they transformed first drafts into pieces with vivid imagery and precise language. Each demonstration, observed by small groups of teachers, was followed by a debrief with Georgia. Several teachers continued to talk shop with her over lunch. We gathered once more at the end of the school day to do some "heartmap" writing with Georgia, calling forth memories and moments of simple joy. Teachers will be using the new strategies Georgia taught us to help students breathe life into their own writing.

During one of my class visits, I happened upon this:

IMG_0634.jpgThese fifth graders are in a virtual tour of the volcano area of the Big Island where they'll be visiting this week. With the Oculus headset, they "walk" the terrain and virtually experience 3-D volcanic eruptions. The teacher reads a description of what they're viewing and can control the pace and images viewed. Fortunately the fifth graders will actually be at Kilauea Military Camp, their homebase from where they'll hike to various areas to fully experience the mysteries and majesty of an active volcano. The virtual experience heightens their interest and prepares them for the observation skills they'll need to apply during their research trip October 4-6.

Thanks for joining me, counselor Shirley Rivera, character education specialist Lori Abe, preschool pedagogista Leslie Gleim, kindergarten faculty Jennifer Matsumoto, and learning specialist Kathy Hassler at the coffee hours this past week on Childhood Friendship.


We hope you left with a strategy or tool you can use when your child comes to you with a friendship problem. The most important tool? Listening with compassion and encouraging your child to come up with solutions. We're planning a coffee hour in November on learning differences. Details to follow in an Owl Update.

It's already October! Spooktivity planning is underway. Perhaps your child has been thinking about a costume? And yourself?

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.